Can search engine advertising help access rare samples?

Daniel Nunan, S. Knox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last decade, there has been an explosion in the use of online survey tools. Online data collection tools have lowered the cost of data collection and removed barriers to entry for carrying out research. While a number of questions have been raised about the general reliability of internet survey research, one specific use of the web for survey work has been in reaching niche populations that are difficult to access using traditional survey tools ? so-called ?rare samples?. In this paper, we present an approach to accessing such hard-to-reach populations using search engine pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. We carried out a study that makes uses of PPC advertising on search engines as an alternative means of developing a sample for a hard-to-reach group of health consumers. Based on a sample of 466 consumer responses, we discuss the effectiveness of this technique for reaching such rare populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-540
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Market Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011


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